Maguiresbridge Methodist Church (1826)

1825. A very blessed revival took place on the Maguiresbridge and Brookeborough circuit. Mr, John Buttle had charge of this laborious field, and soon after arriving there, saw cheering tokens of increased spiritual life in the leaders and members, and arrangements were made for special prayer, three times each day, for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At length, on March 17th, during a service at Killymendon, near Ballinamallard, the power of God descended, so that many were cut to the heart, and cried aloud for mercy. The meetings were continued each night, large numbers attended, and a great many were brought into glorious liberty. The good work soon extended to other parts of the circuit. Fivemiletown, Maguiresbridge, Ballinamallard, and Irvinestown all partook in succession of these showers of blessing, until the wilderness became a fruitful field, and the fruitful field was counted for a forest. Amongst those converted was a young man, named Hugh Monahan, of Ballinamallard, who was spared for nearly forty years to labour for Christ and His cause. Young Monahan began his work at home, and soon every member of the family was led to the Saviour, while one at least became a devoted and consistent leader

1826. At Maguiresbridge it appeared that the good work commenced in the previous year continued to progress and extend, while a new preaching-house in Ballinamallard was nearly completed.

1827. The revival on the Maguiresbridge circuit, in connection with the labours of the Primitive Wesleyan preachers, continued to deepen and extend in its gracious influence.

1828. The extensive religious awakening of the previous two years on the Maguiresbridge circuit continued during the whole of this year. The labours of a third preacher were secured, and a regular plan was formed, but soon the work became too much even for the three brethren engaged in it. The converts sprang up "as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses;" and all the services were attended with the convincing, converting, and sanctifying power of God. At length, one after another, the health of each of the preachers gave way, until the three were laid aside. But two young men were secured as a supply for them, and they, aided by the leaders, carried on the good work. At a field-meeting held in June, on the commons of Fivemiletown, it was estimated that three thousand persons were present, while the Rev. Adam Averell preached with power on the nature and necessity of perfect love. Three years previously there were on this circuit eighty- eight leaders, and one thousand four hundred and forty members of Society; now there were one hundred and forty-three leaders, and two thousand four hundred and sixteen members; being an increase of fifty-five leaders, and nine hundred and seventy-six members.

1832. At Irvinestown, Ballinamallard, Maguiresbridge, Brookeborough and Clones not only were the audiences very large, but there were blessed tokens of extensive revivals.

1855.Maguiresbridge had in the previous year been favoured with an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the Lord continued to carry on the blessed work. Mr John Todd writes, "God has been going through the circuit as a mighty conqueror. Many have been subdued under His word; old and young have yielded to be saved by grace. Frequently persons come six or seven miles to our love-feasts, and many have had to go away for want of room, while others, who could not get inside, stood about the windows. At some of these meetings the cry for pardon would rend the stoutest heart — indeed, it was so great that it seemed as if those who uttered it felt that they were on the brink of hell; but in most cases sorrow was soon turned into joy. I saw parents in the arms of their children, and children in the arms of their parents, rejoicing together in God. Last year upwards of three hundred and fifty members were added to the Society. Since Conference we have had some glorious meetings. Still, notwithstanding the success with which it pleased the Lord to crown our feeble efforts, we had to deplore that parts of the circuit remained hard and unyielding; but some of these have lately been broken down, and many persons at them have given themselves to God. In one of these places twenty came forward as penitents seeking mercy. At our last quarterly meeting in Fivemile town there were about thirty anxious inquirers, many of whom returned home rejoicing in the Lord. At Pubble we had much of the presence and power of God; the people spoke freely, and at the close about twenty penitents came forward. We have seventy-eight classes on this circuit, and the same number of leaders, men of God, who, with few exceptions, are willing to make great sacrifices to assist in carrying on the work. Frequently they leave their homes, travel miles to meet the preacher, and then assist at the services. Some of them, on Sunday mornings, after having met their classes, go through their respective neighbourhoods, bring the unconverted inhabitants together, and by exhortation and prayer endeavour to lead them to the Saviour. We have also band-meetings, chiefly of young men whom the Lord has raised up as helpers, so that when the aged are obliged to quit the field these young persons will be ready to supply their places.

1856. The good work in connection with the labours of the Primitive Wesleyans on the Maguiresbridge circuit continued. Mr Todd writes, "We have had very blessed quarterly meetings. In Fivemiletown the house was crowded; many were unable to get in, and about twenty were enabled to rejoice in a sin-pardoning God. At Pubble we had a good attendance, and fifteen professed to have been set at liberty. In Maguiresbridge there were over twenty penitents, and most of them found mercy. At Lisbellaw we had a blessed time, and sixteen souls were hopefully converted. So great was the distress of the penitents that their cries could be heard afar, but their sorrow was soon turned into joy. A daughter of one of our leaders was amongst those who were made happy in God; but her sister, who was present, seemed to resist the Holy Spirit. After the close of the meeting, I, with others, went to this brother's house, and when tea was over requested all present to sit down, and each one to say in turn, ‘My Jesus!’ Some joyfully repeated the words, but others could not, and felt it. Many wept, and three, including the girl who had appeared so hardened, cried aloud for mercy. Prayer was offered on their behalf, and not in vain; for after long wrestling the poor penitents were filled with peace and joy in believing. Thus father, mother, and children all united in praising God

1857. Concerning Maguiresbridge Mr John Todd reports that the Lord continues to acknowledge our feeble efforts, and souls are being saved. On Sunday we held the last of our six love-feasts for the past quarter, and at each of them we had much of the presence and power of the Lord. On most of these occasions the preaching-houses could not contain the people who came to hear the word of life; there were a large number of penitents, and many of them went home rejoicing in the pardoning mercy of God. In connection with one of the Sunday-schools there was a remarkable outpouring of the Holy Spirit, through the Divine blessing on the efforts of some young men

These are all excerpts from 'History of Methodism in Ireland' by Crookshank, Volume III.

Additional Information

This church was built in 1842. Some of the revivals were in the Maguiresbridge Primitive Methodist Circuit as opposed to the church itself.

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